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Starting Point

News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.

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CNN

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02:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 22, U.s. 20, Algeria 13, Manti Te 13, Boeing 10, Timothy Burke 5, Katie 5, Chick 5, Virginia 5, Manti 5, Faa 5, Lance Armstrong 4, Ted Rowlands 4, Ocuvite 4, Washington 4, Europe 4, New York 4, China 4, John 4, Usaa 3,
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  CNN    Starting Point    News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien  
   looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.  

    January 17, 2013
    4:00 - 6:00am PST  

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that you are passionate about and something you know. >> write what you know. >> on his way to sundance along with -- >> i am so excited. i will be there monday and tuesday, coming back wednesday. very excited. share stones tons of stories wi. >> i will not be there. >> "starting point" with soledad o'brien starts right now. good morning, welcome, everybody. "starting point," bizarre and cruel joke, notre dame's star linebacker manti te'o, victim of a cruel hoax? his girlfriend who died never existed. we're digging into the mystery. and americans taken hostage in algeria. why they were taken, what's being done to help them. that ahead.
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and dreamliner grounded in the u.s. and europe along with japan. weren't they supposed to be the aircraft of the future? >> and the president lays out his aggressive new man for gun control. with some republicans rejecting it and some democrats cool, does it have any chance to get through? >> our guests, mike greenberg, mark schlereth, timothy burke, tim kane, peter king and remember katie beers. her story was headlines across new york and around the nation 20 years ago. her infamous kidnapping experience. how she survived, and thrived after it. thursday, january 17th. "starting point" begins right now. welcome, everybody. we start this morning with the story that everybody is talking about. it is crazy. you will remember that
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inspirational story behind notre dame linebacker manti te'o's amazing season. his girlfriend, how they met. she was in a car accident, died of leukemia. all of the was a complete hoax. here is what he said at the time. >> i cried. i yelled. never felt that way before. this is is six hours ago i found out grandma passed away, and you take -- you know, the love of my life. last thing she said to me was i love you. and that was it. >> over the course of months, we heard about him fighting through the grief over her death as he was leading the irish to the bcs championship game. that girlfriend did not die. in fact, according to the website deadspin, she never existed. notre dame says that te'o was
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the victim of a very cruel hoax. ted rowlands live in south bend, indiana, with more details on what's completely fair to say a bizarre story. good morning. >> good morning, soledad. absolutely. there are a lot of unanswered questions. one thing is clear. university of notre dame is standing by their football star. >> university of gnatter dame athletic director jack swarbrick fought back tears while discussing manti te'o at a late news conference. is he convinced that te'o is the victim of an elaborate hoax. >> that the single most trusting human being i've ever met will never be able to trust in the same way again in his life. >> reporter: the story of the star linebacker enduring the death of his girlfriend and grandmother on the same day transcended sports. people around the world were touched by how in love he seemed
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to be lennay contakakua, the gi called his soul mate. >> cried, yelled, never felt that way before. six hours ago, i found out grandma passed away, and you take the love of my life. >> reporter: on the day of his girlfriend's supposed funeral, te'o played football. after the game, notre dame football coach brian kelly awarded the ball to the girl that we now know doesn't exist. >> i want to award this game ball to lennay, and i would like manti to have this ball to take back to hawaii. >> te'o told his coaches about the hoax on december 26th. notre dame kept the truth underwraps, despite the fact that the med yao was still telling the story leading up to the national championship game. >> from the outset, we thought this was manti's story to tell.
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we wanted to know when it would be told, how it was would be told, but it was his to tell. >> reporter: one of the reporter who's broke the hoax story doesn't think te'o's story doesn't add up. >> te'o's story doesn't shake through for us. >> reporter: why didn't manti ever mention her in actually met lennay when talking about how much he loved her? how did the story about how they first met at a football game start? and if it wasn't true, why didn't he correct it? and how could he have been so in love with someone he ever never actually met face to face. >> as manti tells the story, you will see the same thing i saw. it does fully line up. >> reporter: and notre dame officials say they are under the impression nah manti te'o will tell his story sometimory the next few days, but nothing from te'o or his agent how exactly he will do that or when he will do
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that. he did release a statement which says in part this is incredibly embarrassing to talk about, over an extended period of time, i developed an emotional relationship with a woman i met online. we met, maintained what i thought to be an authentic relationship by communicating frequently online and on the phone and i grew deeply to care about her. to realize i was the victim of someone's sick joke and constant lies was, and is, painful, and humiliating. a lot of questions still remain surrounding this story. >> questions he has to answer. ted rowlands, thank you very much. appreciate the walk through of that weaven story. other stories making news, and john berman has that. an international standoff happening right now. americans among dozens being held hostage by islamist
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militants at a gas facility in al jageria algeria. leon panetta quick to speak about what's happening. >> by all indications this is a terrorist act and the united states strongly condemns these kinds of terrorist attacks. it's a very serious matter when americans are taken hostage along with others. >> dan rueters is live in london. what do we know about the group taking responsibility? >> reporter: well, that had are sort of a splinter group, an affiliate of al qaeda in the islamic magnificent rred. led by mokhtar belmokhtar. he fought in the '80s against the soviets. he has been involved in people trafficking, drugs, and he has done a lot of kidnapping as
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well. most motivated by ransom and money. this may end up getting resolved. a notorious character, and described by french intelligence as mr. untouchable. known locally for being involved in cigarette smuggling. this is part of a wider, regional conflict, links to mali, that these islam iist groups in algeria are getting in on. furious that algeria has allowed french planes to fliory algerian air space to attack insurients, islamists in northern mali. >> what about plans or missions to get hostages out? >> well, we know from the ministry of information in algeria, that they are surrounded. the terrorists, and that a large number of security forces have
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gone to the gas plant. they were conflicting reports of the algerians having escaped. we don't know. can't confirm that. a lot we don't know about the exact number of hostages, and the algerian ministry of information saying about 20. three cars on their way to the airport when they were ambushed, go back to the base, islamists follow them and take them hostage there. we're getting reports from one french source, suggesting that algerians in the plant are free to carry on, going about their business, it's just werners being held and videotaped and tied up. >> dan rivers in london, thank you very much. one month after the massacre, sandy hook elementary school in connecticut, president obama moving to tighten gun control laws, and yesterday he signed 23 executive actions that don't need congressional approval, but he wants congress to ban military is style assault
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weapons and include background checks on all gun buyers. >> if there is even one thing to do to reduce gun violence, even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try. >> congress so far appears luke warm on proposals to tighten gun control laws and support among americans has dropped slightly. a new poll shows 56% report a ban on semi auto plattic assault weapons, down from 62% in december. president obama expected to name his close aide, dennis mcdonough as new chief of staff. he will replace jack lew, who was nominated to be new treasury secretary. check your flights. winter storm warnings in effect today from mississippi to washington, d.c. places you don't normally hear. meteorologist jennifer delgado looks at that.
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>> we're tracking snow out there. most of us dealing with rain we have to wait for cold air catching up. we show you right now, wider view, rain from delaware to wider areas, including parts of alabama. mississippi, right along interstate 55, looking at snow there. the snow has to go somewhere, and as we move throughout the afternoon, we'll start to see more of that coming down. we take you through, noon time, notice it will affect alabama, people in georgia, they want to know will we see snow down here? looks like the better timing, later into the evening hours. 5:00, but i want to point out to you for eastern parts of kentucky, and as well as parse of tennessee, along the appalachians, that's where we'll see the heaviest snowfalls. some of the locations, roughly 6 to 8 inches of snowfall, the higher elevations to the south of d.c. metro. 1 to 3 inches of snowfall. tricky out there travelwise. we'll keep you up to date on
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travel delays. part one of oprah winfrey's one-on-one with disgraced cycling legend lance armstrong will air tonight. what will he say? damage control under way. a source tells us armstrong already in talks to return some endorsement money. stay with clnch cnn tonight for a complete wrap with anderson cooper, and on saturday, "the world according to lance armstrong." remember when lance armstrong was the most complicated sports story in the world? >> ed today it's not. more about manti te'o's story and how it's disintegrating, straight ahead. first, another thing that's falling apart. for boeing, dreamliners grounded. faa officials joining japan and europe grounding the dreamliner due to fire risk as a result of
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overheating lithium batteries. united is the only u.s. carrier that operates the dreamliner. christine following the story for weeks. >> what it means for boeing, boeing down 3% in premarket trading. down the past five days, the dreamliner is the marquee aircraft for boeing. lightweight carbon composite materials. most sophisticated electrical systems outside of space travel. a list price between $206 and $400 million dollars. the lithium ion batteries made by a japanese company. before further fight operations of the boeing 787 aircraft, must demonstrate batteries are safe and in compliance. since september, a fuel leak, oil leak, two cracked engines and a damaged koch cockpit window grounding an entire fleet is rare. last was in 1979 after a crash
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in chicago grounded d.c. 10s. something to remember about this dreamliner. this was supposed to be the miracle of outsourcing. boeing would take the best engineering and companies around the world. design and farm out production of pieces. >> save a lot of money. >> assemble it in seattle to the best, most high-tech plane out there. from the very beginning, three years late, way overbudget. literally get pieces back to seattle that didn't fit. had to redo a lot of the stuff. and now they are trying to figure out what exactly are the kinks that grounded the airlines. >> a mess since the beginning of the year, just a disaster. following this morning a story, developing story of americans being held hostage in algeria. words that some hostages have escaped. which hostages? how many? how does the u.s. deal with a situation like this? we'll speak with a former fbi kidnapping negotiator who has
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been in this situation before. new mortgage rules meant to protect homeowners facing foreclosure. do they go far enough to prevent foreclosure in the first place? we'll look at that.
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welcome back, everybody. just incnn.
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reports from algerian media that hostages held by al qaeda affiliates may have escaped. we don't know how many americans are being held and if they are, among those who escaped it happen eed at a natural gas fie operated by bp. we want to get to fbi's former lead international kidnapping negotiator, ceo of the black swan group. a private negotiating group. thank you for talking with us. >> my pleasure, soledad. >> so much we don't know at this time. we do know that the workers were in this gas field, joint venture operated by three oil companies, including british petroleum and the algerian state oil company and some kind of fire fight. in the end it looks like
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jihadists control the plant. what happens now? we heard there will not be any negotiations according to the people, algerian interior minister. what happened? >> well, you establish communication. let the situation settle down a bit. terrorists will secure the site, and it was no problem for them, letting some hostages go. difficult to manage that many hostages, and they want to keep the high-value hostages, the werners. they will try to settle in, set up their defenses and have to make demands. things they clearly want. they want prisoners to be released and some lines of communication will be established, and the -- the authorities will -- ideally will look at communication as a weapon to manipulate them and arrange an outcome, either there is an assault or get everybody released. >> kidnappings, hostage taking, not that unusual, especially massive international companies, and often the companies will pay
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out money to the kidnappers, but would political motivation, seems like it would be less likely. do you think that's true? >> some of the motivation will be a cover. the terrorists here are really bandits. a kidnapping industry thriving in this part of the world, and used to making money. this is a business for them. an opportunity to make a lot more money. make noise about political demands in the hopes that money will be offered to save the people and secondarily the facility. they will try to settle this for money. >> negotiations could involve money. what about a rescue attempt. how likely is it that that is being planned by people in the united states? >> planning began on this from the moment that it started. now there, is a lot of approach problems here. it will be difficult to come in by surprise. the facility is very
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complicated. it's easy to defend, hard to get into. a lot of structures that are scattered all over the place. not like a single retaining wall or series of walls that can be easily navigated. an assault on this complex will be very, very difficult. >> chris boss, former lead fbi kidnapping negotiator. thank you for joining us. we'll continue to follow the story and get information on who exactly the escapees are, and the hostages that remain. still ahead on "starting point," one way of getting out of your work. a program developer, software developer, gets caught outsourcing his work to china. how the company figured out he hired people to do his job. that is ahead. see? walmart has all these leading eyewear brands and styles. rockstar! really? yeah. oh, wow! oh, black frame looks good on you. yeah? you can get a complete pair starting at just -- $38. really?! and did you know that our glasses
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we're outta here. ♪ [ engine revs ] ♪ welcome back. i'm christine romans minding your business. big bank earnings in focus today. boeing also in the spotlight today. 0% of its dreamliners grounded around the world. the dough co it could pull down the dow. and gun stocks getting a lot of attention. shares of commercial gunmakers and retailers have been up --
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up -- since the school shooting in newtown. look at stern rugger and smith & wesson, both shares up since the newtown massacre. and the calsters, california teachers retirement fund, and the new york comptroller's office, freezing the investments in gun firms. amazing entrepreneur, clever delegator, both? t bob, a programmer, outsourced his own job to china computer systems were being accessed from china and initially thought hackers were involved. not so. bob, the programmer, hired a firm in shenyang to do his work. coming in on a schedule that mimicked his 9:00 to 5:00 job,
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and bob paid them one-fifth of his salary. bob has been fired. >> bob not so smart, the sense that didn't he realize that people would be able to figure out that someone in china is accessing computers in the company. he sent them his pass key. >> but the fact that bob was able to pull it off at all, not totally stupid. >> subcontracting his job overseas, some brilliance to it. washington preparing for a fight over the president's new gun control agenda will his own party support the plan? we'll speak with tim kaine who introduced changes to his own state. beyonce, isn't the only part of the "gq" issue that is buzzing, there are categories like hottest indian chick, hottest y
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ity italian chick. we'll talk about that, straight ahead. ♪ [ male announcer ] some day, your life will flash before your eyes. ♪ make it worth watching. ♪ the new 2013 lexus ls. an entirely new pursuit. the new 2013 lexus ls.
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good morning. welcome, everybody. watching "starting point."
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our team, will cani, and richard scoaridies. and rana foroohar. sweeping effort to change the nation's gun laws. the president announced a plan, spoke about how one of the young victims, a little girl named grace mcdonald, a victim of sandy hook, inspired him. >> chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings, and i hung it in my private study, just off the oval office, and every time i look at that painting, i think about grace. i think about the life that she lived and the life that lay ahead of her, and most of all, i think when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now. >> the president's plan includes
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23 actions that won't have to include congress, but he's asking for help from congress on a number of other measures, including a new assault weapons ban, universal background checks for every gun sale. ban on high-capacity magazines, stronger penalties for drug trafficking. tim kaine, virginia's governor when the virginia tech massacre happened. >> nice to be with you. >> assault weapons ban, ban on high capacity weapons, are these are the two biggest sticking points on what president proposed that requires congressional action? >> they will get a lot of discussion, but the president laid out very reasonable, ideas for ways to reduce gun violence, and while some of them are about guns, and we'll talk about those, he also focused on the need for more mental health services and better school security, but on the guns, the
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background record checks has enormous public support. we ought to be able to do that and do it in an easy way. the ban on combat weapons and supersized magazines will be tougher. very reasonable, supported by the american public, consistent with the second amendment, no reason not to do this. >> a couple reasons, not really combat weapons, haven't heard that before, right? literally not combat -- not exactly the same as a combat weapon. >> not exactly the same. but they are so close as to be in my mind indistinguishable. you don't need these weapons for hunting or self-defense. >> the democratic leader of the senate, harry reid, says it's doomed to try to pitch that. i think there he will about some resistance. maybe it won't work. a democrat saying it won't work, it's pretty dire for that particular measure, isn't it? >> it won't be easy. look, there are a lot of
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lobbyists against any change. we saw that in my own state in the aftermath of virginia check. i acted by executive order to enter mental illness records buy a database which made our state safer. i tried to get my ledge will toure more broadly close the gun show loophole, and they wouldn't do it, and so i know these battles can be tough, but my hope is that sadly, since virginia tech, we have had a role, we have had the shooting in the sikh temple in milwaukee, tucson, newtown. maybe we have learned something and more motive to make these reasonable fixes. >> the president also has 23 executive actions. when you read through the list of 23, include publish a letter from the atf to federally licensed gun dealers on how to run background checks, launch a
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safe and responsible gun ownership campaign. doj report on lost guns and launch a national dialog led by secretary seb sebelius on mental health. they don't sound particularly strong. what do you make of the 23 executive actions? >> they are very broad. sheer one in that list of executive actions that we learned was really important. give mental health professionals and community leaders clear information on how to deal with someone mentally ill and potentially dangerous. a lot of people around ware that in young student at virginia tech was mentally ill and potentially dangerous, but they thought privacy laws probably prohibit me from sharing in information. a lot of misunderstanding of what you can do if you are working with somebody and you think they might be dangerous, and so that was one of the executive orders the president signed. some of them are very modest,
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but put together, the legislation on guns and request for better mental health funding, more security, a big comprehensive package and that's what it needs to be. if we want to reduce gun violence, we have to go big in a comprehensive way. >> rand paul said this about the president looking specifically at these 23 executive actions, might have a king complex. let's my that. >> we have a bill that we will introduce early next week. in in this bill, we will nullify anything that the president does that smacks of legislation. several executive orders that appear as if he's writing law. that cannot happen. we struck down once -- the court struck down clinton for trying this, and i'm afraid president obama may have this king complex. >> what do you make of what he's saying? 23 executive actions, some you think would be targets for being struck down by a court?
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there's the completely anti government wing that will make that argument. i guess they made it against president bush 41 when he banned the importation of certain kind of assault weapons and made it against executive order signed by president clinton. presidents have the power to do executive orders. that's a power deferred to the president by congress and the constitution. there are those -- as rand paul says, he wants to nullify. that's code word. >> for what? >> nullification, look when it's been used. it's kind of a state's rights argument that gets used in times of great controversy. but the president is acting by executive power, legally conf conferred on him these executive orders are basically common-sense things, basically geared around sharing information, sharing information to reduce gun violence. >> null if i is a code word,
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usually some endgame to the code. >> we'll see what it is. the notion that we'll nullify presidential action when the president is acting pursuant to law, that's kind of this anti government rhetoric that i'm surprised to hear somebody in government use it. >> senator tim caine, democrat from virginia, thank you, we appreciate your time. onpjohn berman with other stories. the aurora movie theater reopens six months after the carnage there. 2,000 tickets for victims and families were distributed. some are boycotting the event. last month on "early start" we asked one family member why. >> the fact that we were being used as pawns, that they were using us as momentum for their public ticket sales by telling the public, well, look, the family members of this massacre came back. and it's okay for them to come
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back, it will be okay for you guys too. >> it's being billed as a night of remembrance. >> trouble for a mine sweeper. "uss guardian" ran aground on a reef near the philippines. it is in the sulu sea. crew members are trying to set the ship free of the reef. bad news for boeing stretching across the globe. most advanced plane yet. dreamliner 787 grounded in europe, japan, and now here in the u.s. faa ordering united, only u.s. carrier fing the dreamliner right now to stop flying the dreamliner right now. the problem, the risk of fire from on board batteries. sandra endo, live in washington. >> good morning, john. lithium ion batteries used on the dreamliner are in question here. citing a potential fire risk. the federal aviation administration is temporarily
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grounding all u.s. operated dreamliners after a second battery incident on a 787 in less than two weeks. in a statement, the faa says before further flight, operators of u.s. registered 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the faa that the batteries are safe and in compliance. united airlines is the only u.s. airline with six dreamliners in service and it will immediately comply with the directive and all other international operators are following suit. boeing for its part, defending its plane, which debuted in 2011. saying in a statement, we are confident that the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity. we'll take every necessary step to assure our customers and the traveling public to the 787's safety and to return the airplanes to service. john. >> this story goes on and on and
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on. disgraced south carolina governor mark sanford, former governor, has made it official. he will run for the state's open congressional seat. two days after his ex-wife jenny announced she would not run for it. you may remember mark sanford's political career and marriage scrum belled after he admitted to an affair with a tv reporter in argentina in 2009. an old college friend convinced him, congress is where he should go next. >> he called me, mark, you got to do this. talking about debt, deficit, government spending, 15, 20 years ago when no one was much focused on it here is a chance to take what you learned on the way up, what you learned on the way down. what you learned in congress before, the governorship and apply it to the debate of our time. piers morgan will have an exclusive interview at 10:00 p.m. eastern on cnn.
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quint se conrad bain, the d different strokes, has died. only one surviving member, willis. >> such a great show. you think of all of the drama cast members had over the years. >> i don't remember. i don't think i was born then. >> that show was a long time ago. >> amazing. still ahead this morning on "starting point," hottest pregnant sri lankan, hottest indian chick. just a document categories in the "qq" hottest women of the millennium issue. we'll talk about that straight ahead. and the girlfriend of notre dame's linebacker manti te'o died, millions came to his side.
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it was all a hoax. it wasn't caught and why not? mark greenberg and mark schlerath will join me to talk about that, straight ahead. officeyour business needs...k... at prices that keep you...out of the red. this week get a bonus $15 itunes gift card with any qualifying $75 ink purchase. find thousands of big deals now... at officemax.
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987 years still to go, "gq"
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magazine released its sexiest women of the millennium issue. >> never too early. >> so beyonce is the cover girl. many critics calling out the magazine. >> and she looks great on the cover. >> she does, having knocked out a kid, amazing. >> that's what three hours of a personal trainer does, a day. >> but anyway, i digress. let's go to the point. some people very offended. say the magazine has split women into these odd categories. like this one. hottest indian chick. p p frieda pinto won that. hottest pregnant sri lankan. m.i.a. hottest italian chick. monica belushi. and hottest chinese chick.
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snnch hang ziyi. the '70s called, they want their word back, "chick." >> i'm not offended. this is "gq." i think it's funny. >> i need it explained to me what is offensive about it. it's not offensive. >> says the white man at the end of the table. >> any reference to race and ethnicity is offensive? >> i think the categories are odd. hottest pregnant sri lankan. >> how many were there? >> a bunch. i don't know who else was vying for the title. >> i think women -- not women, but i think people expect there to be some objectification in a magazine like "gq." >> what were you offended by? >> the lack of creative of the titles. as a magazine person, i was
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expecting a little better from the copy editor. >> high brow offense. >> and the kind of -- >> a lot of things are other people involved offended. beyonce agreed to be part of the shoot, so she may not have been offended, right? >> it escapes me how someone could be offended. i don't understand. >> she didn't win an award or category. >> she's just hottest of the millennium. >> i don't know. i have to agree with you. i think it's lame, more than anything else. >> i say it's lame. but not offensive. >> hottest biracial chick. maybe one day i would win a title and not be offended. >> would you be less offended if you won a category? >> i don't know. does it come with money? we'll talk about this bizarre story. notre dame calling it a sick joke. you remember the story of how manti te'o's girlfriend died of
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leukemia. she's not real. he is the victim of a cruel hoax, or is he in on the hoax? we'll talk about that, next.
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>> we're even talking about it in the commercial breaks. the story that defined the college football season. manti te'o losing season, manta te'o, his grandmother died, new report shows the whole story is a fabrication the girlfriend apparently never existed. earlier i spoke with mike greenberg the co-host of "mike&mike in the morning." here's what we talked about. good morning, guys, nice to talk to you. your show is riveting this morning. there are so many questions, for me the biggest question i guess is, is manti te'o part of this hoax or a victim of this hoax? what's your gut on that? >> that is the $64 million question, soledad and here is the only reason that i'm
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inclined to believe that te'o was not involved and that is that the athletic director from notre dame last night came out and put all his eggs in te'o's basket. he unequivocally backed te'o and put the entire university and the entire football program behind him. this kid finished his football career, will never play there again. i believe after the lengthy investigation that you know the university has done, if they had any question that te'o was involved, he would have at least left himself an out which he would not do. otherwise i would be completely disinclined to believe te'o was not involved. that gives me pause. >> i want to play what the athletic director said in the press conference which was riveting in and of itself last night. >> this was a very elaborate, very sophisticated hoax perpetrated for reasons we can't fully understand but had a
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certain cruelty at its core based on the exchanges that we were able to see between some of the people who perpetrated it. >> he clearly is putting all his eggs in the basket of what te'o is saying is true but when you go through the media reports over the last year plus, there are things that te'o is somehow involved in storytelling that cannot be true, the story of how he and this young woman met, stanford graduate, never quoted but certainly the "south bend tribune" tells that story, that it cannot have happened if she doesn't exist, right? >> there are inconsistencies and i think there are embellishments at the very least in a make you look at this and give you some pause. at some point you're saying wait a minute, if these stories were harpd a
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reported and you didn't say wait i never met her face to face, we had met on the internet, over the web, we talked but never gazed into each other's eyes, why would you not correct that if you're not part of what's going on? those are the question marks right now that people are looking at saying wait a minute now, there's a few inconsistencies here, and at the very least he embellished and let that happen during the course of this whole relationship. >> bizarre. >> to use the word soulfully. >> let me ask about the time line. the school found out december 26, looks like manti found out weeks before that, before the national championship, obviously that, we were all talking about. no one was informed. how odd is that? that stinks to me. >> well, it is unprecedented. we are a sports talk show and i thought up until everything i've
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seen it all and i've never seen anything like this. he was the runner up for the heisman and best defensive player. if you were not watching that game he was a non-factor in the game and obviously you put two and two together and figure his mind was in a lot of other places because he had to know this was about to come crashing around all sides of him. >> what's the why? like why, if he's involved, why? if he's not involved, why? what's the point of the hoax? >> i think that people that would ask that question why and you would see that the potential of winning a heisman and what that does for you on the national stage and also going on in your football career, just t the, what that would do for you going forward. i think there are -- >> he may have done it, what we're saying it he may have done it in order to get the sympathy vote for the heisman but you and i as adults realize the risk greatly outweighs even that reward. >> you have to assume that the
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story -- >> and i don't know the answer to that either. >> -- the journalists would love the story, no one would check it out. there's a lot of assumptions. this story is incredible. i can't wait to hear what he says when he's asked just beyond his statement where he says he's the victim of a cruel hoax. it's a shocker. >> look, it's beyond shocking. i've never seen anything like this. it's beyond sports, and the question is, was he in on it or was he the victim. >> what is your gut on that? >> my gut is there's something fishy. to believe him completely he has to have been the victim of an incredibly complicated and successful hoax. there has to be incredibly incomplete journalism, you have to be willing to accept that he was okay with allowing the incomplete journalism to exist out there for months and months. you have to be willing to believe that he lied to his father about meeting this girl several times in hi hi.
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you have to be willing to believe, none of these things are impossible in and of themselves. when you string them together. >> the quantity. the best feather in his cap is what mike greenberg said, after a lengthy investigation with the university they've gone all in he was duped, he was not part of the hoax. if they are wrong where does this go from manti te'o? who at notre dame is responsible? >> if they are wrong they will say we were duped, too. we'll continue to talk about this incredible story and speak with the editor who broke the story, timothy burke will join us in a bit. americans apparently among the hostages taken by militants in algeria, there are some reports now that some of those hostages have escaped, but who are they that have escaped and how many? the u.s. is calling this a terrorist attack, so what happens now? we have developing details and insight from congressman peter king, straight ahead. then a story that riveted
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new york and the nation, this little girl was kidnapped in a crime that was front page news, for 16 days she was discovered hidden in a bunker underneath her kidnaper's garage. 20 years later katie beers talks about her ordeal and how she not only survived, she said it was one of the best things that happened to her, in some way. that's ahead. t's go. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing the all-new cadillac xts... another big night on the town, eh? ...and the return of life lived large. ♪
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good morning, welcome everybody. our starting point, held hostages, americans held hostage in nigeria. some escaped but were americans among the group and how many? the latest on the developing story is straight ahead. then was notre dame's star linebacker manti te'o the victim of a sick prank? turns out his girlfriend, a long story how she died tragically of leukemia, she never existed. we'll speak with the editor who broke that story. it gets worse for boeing. the u.s. joins other nations and grounds dreamliners over a fire risk. passengers are being moved to other flights. she was kidnapped and held in a dungeon for days. 20 years later katie beers talks about how she survived that unbelievable ordeal. >> it's thursday, january 17th and "starting point" begins right now.
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welcome back. will cain is with us, richard sacorides is back and former senior adviser to president clinton, assisting editor of "time" magazine and john berman has some strong comments about manti te'o, and this other lead story that international standoff, happening right now in algeria. there are reports in algerian media some of the hostages held by islamic extremists have escaped. we've not been able to confirm that so far, we have no idea how the number of hostages held and the number of those who escaped if in fact they did escape. here is what leon panetta had to say. >> by all indications, this is a terrorist act, and the united states strongly condemns these kinds of terrorist acts. it is a very serious matter, when americans are taken hostage
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along with others. >> elise labbitt is cnn's foreign affairs reporter in washington, d.c. that's strong words from panetta. what is happening in al yearia? there are so many question marks and empty points in the details. >> that's right, soledad, it's hard to get information, even the state department isn't sure how many americans. we're hearing it could be as few as three americans that were held hostage, we don't know if they're among those who escaped. we know from the algerians 30 workers that were there on that gas field have escaped. we hear that some foreigners have escaped. we don't know who, but why did this happen? why did this al qaeda group, the mass brigades affiliated with the islamic maghreb do it? they said because of the french intervention in malie.
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we understand this has been planned for some time, the sophistication and level of the organization of this is tack my sources tell me they think it was hatched a long time before the french intervention. >> elise labott, appreciate it. we get more from republican congressman peter king, he chairs the house committee on counterterrorism and intelligence, he's been briefed on the situation in algeria. what's the latest that you can tell us? because there's a lot that we do not know at this time. >> basically there's a lot we don't know. it's a lot of things have not been reported but nothing dramatic other than this is very tense, very dangerous situation and at aqim or its affiliates extremely dangerous in north africa, mali, libya, algeria now and this instance itself is serious enough it portends bad things for the future as far as the severity and establishing
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operations in north africa. >> let's talk about the number of americans, with he heard at some points there might be seven americans working in the fields, at some it was said there were three americans that may be held hostage. you have a more concrete number of americans roinvolved? >> i have different intelligence sources in the community and no one is certain right now. >> we heard about an escape that this happened and have you had it confirmed there was an escape, some said algerian nationals, others said there might be foreigners involved. can you confirm? >> it's not been confirmed to me. algeria is very good part on the issues, the security forces are good, they are professional, they resent outsiders coming in, so there is a bit of a friction there. having said that, algeria is a good partner in the war against islamic terrorism. >> the interior minister said "we will not negotiate." what does that mean for whatever
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the number of hostages who are there, what is happening now? >> well, the governmental decisions have to be made but it is generally good policy to say we're not going to negotiate. i don't want to do anything that's going to put anyone's life at risk. number of nationalities here, different countries have different attitudes toward it. the general rule is you don't negotiate in the situations. >> better to go in and do a rescue attempt than a negotiation or payoff which is often required by a kidnapping? >> that's a decision that has to be made. this could be a complex operation. >> gosh you give me no information today, congressman, i know there's a lot you can't reveal and a lot that we do not know. i appreciate that. can we talk about what the president proposed now? >> sure. >> there's a to do list for congress and there's the executive order list, 23 things on that list of executive orders. some of them seemed, where is my executive order list, seemed milquetoast, call a meeting, send out messages, what do you think of those executive orders?
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is there anything in there that surprises you or worries you in terms of presidential overreaching? >> for my part i basically support what the president is trying to do. i'm an outrider on that. having said that, i think he built up great expectations about the executive orders. debris with you, there's not that much there. rand paul was excited about it. >> he has these sort of, acting like a king potentially. >> i would say most of the. president's gun supporters were disappointed, it was hype and didn't add much. i think it's difficult to get something through the congress. >> what could get through? >> maybe something on backgrounds checks. >> that's it? >> even the president realized after aurora, it came right at the beginning of the presidential campaign. the president barely mentioned that in the campaign if he thought there was benefit or support for that that's an issue, forgetting the human
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factor. the fact it was not mentioned during the campaign shows that this is not a selling political issue. it really isn't. >> can i ask you, you said yourself you're an outlier on this because of your district and your history here, but what can happen, how can republicans and democrats come together on this and isn't it time for some of these reasonable proposals like on the assault weapons ban to go through? can congress, will congress act? >> not everybody thinks that's reasonable. >> mr. king does i think. >> i had a hard enough time getting the sandy aid going through. no, i think it's going to be difficult. from being in the republican conference the issue of guns is a non-starter for the most part. maybe background checks they can move forward. assault weapon ban most republicans think that is extreme. >> if the american publics wants an assault reference ban, no? >> i think they do.
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here's the deal, the majority say they're for it. the majority doesn't feel intensely about it. those who are against it are very intense. if you're in a primary all those antis will come out. how many are going to come to the primary for an assault weapon. >> it doesn't move votes on the left but what's interesting the president's come out so strongly at the time when he has so many other fights going on and i'm interested in the politics of that. he has fights around the debt ceiling coming up and to make this the issue, how do you think that will work? >> that's why i wonder how serious he is. i'm not questioning his motives. now he knows for the next two months all we're going to be talking about is the debt ceiling, sequestration, the continuing resolution, ending the fiscal cliff, all of these. >> you're not questioning his motives of what he's suggesting. he'd rather have a conversation about guns than the debt ceiling? >> i think the president is trying to get political support from his base, maybe he feels it
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strengthens him going into negotiations with the republicans or the fiscal issues. listen these guys won't even ban assault weapons, how can you trust them on taxes and spending. i see it as building up his political position which is not wrong but i don't think in his heart of hearts he thinks he's going to pass any significant legislation. >> congressman king in the studio after my asking all the time. >> i couldn't stay away from you, soledad. >> she's not really a tough interviewer is she? >> she's very nice and multiracial -- >> are we rolling on this? i love this. keep the nice part. i would appreciate that. >> she was the irish-american woman of the year, there you go. >> and i accepted. nice to have you congressman, appreciate it. other stories making news john has that for us. >> lots of questions about the story involving notre dame's manti te'o and his girlfriend who was supposed to have died but it turns out she never existed at all. so was te'o the victim of an
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elaborate hoax or somehow involved in a hoax. one thing is crystal clear right now, the university of notre dame is standing by its star player. cnn's ted rowlands in live in south bend, indiana. good morning, ted. >> reporter: good morning, john. notre dame is absolutely standing by him. the athletic director held an emotional news conference yesterday and said that after he talked personally with manti te'o for two hours in one session and then in another session he's convinced that he is nothing more than a victim. of course this story really did grab the american people and the media ran wild with it, the story of a star football player enduring the death of not only his grandmother, but his 22-year-old girlfriend on the same day the football player continues to play, the fans reacted, supporting him throughout, and one of the reasons that the story really connected was manti te'o and the way he talked about his girlfriend that we now know didn't even exist.
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>> i cried, i yelled, i never felt that way before. this is six hours ago i just found out my grandma passed away and you take, you know, the love of my life. last thing she said to me was "i love you." >> there are several questions of course that still remain. one of them is about the timing. te'o apparently told the university he found out that his girlfriend was a fake in early december and told them on december 26th. well nobody bothered to tell anyone else until after the national championship game, and during the time between december 26th and the national championship game, january 7th, the media ran wild with this story, the university here says they decided that it was up to manti te'o to come clean on this, and to tell the public it wasn't their job to do it, they expect te'o to make a statement of some sort in the next few
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days. >> that is something i think everyone would like to see. ted rowlands in south bend, indiana. thanks very much. later in the hour we'll talk to timothy burke editor at deadspin.com, what an amazing piece of journalism they did. president obama told the families of the victims of sandy hook he would take action. now he is. yesterday the president moved to tighten gun control laws and called on congress to do the same. he signed 23 executive actions that do not need a congressional approval, but he asked congress to ban military-style assault weapons and expand background checks to include all gun buyers. many members of congress however are lukewarm to the proposals. boeing is taking a global hit, the 787 dreamliner grounded in europe, japan, and now here in the united states due to a potential fire risk from the onboard lithium batteries. united, the only u.s. carrier flying the dreamliner says it inspected all six of their 787s and insists they're safe but the
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company will comply with the faa order. this just in to cnn, the international olympic committee has confirmed they have written to lance armstrong asking that he return his bronze medal. he won it for cycling in the 2000 olympic games in sydney. armstrong is expected to admit tonight in an interview with oprah winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs. seven tour de france titles gone and now an olympic bronze medal. >> all about sports today, crazy things. thank you. ahead on "starting point" it was a shocking kidnapping that captured the nation's attention 20 years ago. the victim is speaking out for the first time now, katie beers reveals her incredible story of survival in her new book, she'll talk about that next. [ all ] fort benning, georgia, in 1999. [ male announcer ] usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation because it offers a superior level of protection and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans, and their families
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it was a crime that gripped a nation 20 years ago, 9-year-old little girl named katie beers had been locked in a dungeon on long island and sexually abused by her kidnaper john esposito, seven days chained by the neck locked in a wooden box suspended by the ground. television provided the only distraction, her only light, her
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meals were junk food. ultimately her captors broke down and she was able to be rescued. beers revealed her story in a new book called "buries memories." nice to have you with us. >> thank you. >> this book is such a page turner in part because i remember the story so well, the little girl whose poster was everywhere, as a fellow long islander this was headline news. you ended up being kept in this dungeon, the pictures came out, it was just stunning. you were 10 years old when they rescued you. >> yes. >> did you think that you were going to die when you were held down there? >> i hoped not. i held out hope that i would eventually go back and live with marilyn. i thought more that john was going to kill himself, my abductor was going to kill himself or be killed in some way. >> which would leave you trapped underground. >> correct. >> that wouldn't be any kind of salvation at all. there was a manhunt that did not find you, but in the process of this manhunt it revealed the horrific childhood that you had
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had. every detail that was come up that did not define you revealed how neglected you were as a kid. tell us about that. >> my childhood consisted of enslavement by my god mother and my godmother's husband, not only that, but also sexual abuse by my godmother's husband, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse by both my godmother herself and her husband, and neglect by my mother. >> you were dirty, you never went to school. the question at the time was like how did this little girl, this adorable little girl fall through the cracks no one was tracking that she wasn't going to school. how desperate was your life before the kidnapping? >> before the kidnapping, i loved going to school. it was a salvation for me to be able to go to school, the one or two days a week that i actually attended, but before the abduction, my life was horrible but i didn't realize it until many years afterward, i really didn't realize how horrible everything was.
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>> eventually you would be rescued and go to court and you would testify against grown men who had sexually assaulted you and so many people thought a 10-year-old girl who was so strong. where did that strength come from, do you think? >> i really i don't know where the strength came from so to speak. my will to survive, though, and everything came from the years, my will to survive during the abduction came from the abuse that i sustained as a child, the abuse that i had from linda and sal and the neglect from my mom prepared me for the horrible abduction. >> katie, you'd known your abductor for some time. >> yes. >> apparently he'd built this dungeon well in advance of your kidnapping. is it your sense he had planned this for some time or he stumbled into this and took you down there that day? >> no, he was definitely
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planning the abduction for a while. he built the dungeon years prior. i actually remember kind of playing in it, my brothers, my brother and my cousin playing in it when we were kids in the late '80s and john had tried getting me to sneak away with him to go buy me a toy or things like that when i was in my early 9 years old age. >> your life improved dramatically not only were you rescued but went to live with a foster family, you never went back to live with your family, you ended up having a boyfriend and a life, got married and two kids. sometimes i cover the stories and i think like this child, their life is ruined, they will never be, if they survive it, as a reporter, you just think, they're ruined, and you seem to me to be a living example of the opposite of that. you survived and you thrived. what made you become what you are today and get over all that
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trauma? >> my foster parents were an instrumental role in keeping me secure and safe from media attention and not allowing me to see anything that was going on in the news. they kept me very, very sheltered from everything until i was really 18, and therapy, my therapist was phenomenal. >> is there ever a day when you don't think about it? >> i try not to think about it. there's no point in thinking about the past. i've gone through therapy. i've said my peace. i've now written the book, and now i feel i can finally rebury everything. there's no point in opening up old scars. >> do your children know about the story? >> not yet, they're 3 1/2 and 17 months old. eventually when they're ready, we will tell them. >> the book is called "buried memories," it is such a page turner and you wrote it with the reporter who was on the story for many years, it was amazing, it's an incredible read.
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i highly recommend it. thank you for talking to us about it. >> thank you. >> stunner. still ahead on "starting point," a college student sends a letter that gets attention from bankers from wall street to london, says it's kind of an average resume but everybody's noticing him. are they laughing at him or taking a serious look, we'll look at that letter straight ahead. ♪ we're lucky, it's not every day you find a companion as loyal as a subaru. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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welcome back. our "tough call" humility or honesty is the best policy when you apply for a job. that's debate after someone sent a brutally honest cover letter to a new york investment firm. instead of peppering it with
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buzzwords a 22-year-old young mans who name is apparently matthew ross, a student with no special skills. "i won't waste your time inflating my credentials, throwing around exaggerated job titles or feeding you a line of crap about how my past experiences and skill set align perfectly for an investment banking intern sip. the truth is i have no unbelievably special skills or genius eccentricities but i do have a near perfect gpa and will work hard for you." some people said it was hysterical, some say this kid is raisy. >> he's not answering e-mails either. this is viral on wall street, half the people in the e-mail chain half of the people are praising him saying this kid's got a lot of nerve let's call him, half of them are saying wow, this is bold. >> he's telling the truth,'s h not inflating things. >> which is why they think it's fake. >> i think you're right, this goes to prove that authenticity
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and telling the truth will stand out, serve you well. >> but maybe it's fake. >> it's not only because we've read the absurd letters but participated in inflating our own resumes. >> speak for yourself. >> please, everyone will say how can you make this sound the most applicable. my leadership on the squash team in high school -- >> he says he'll fetch coffee, shine shoes, pick up laundry, work for next to nothing. in all honesty i want to be around professionals in the industry and gain as much knowledge as i can. >> he'll get a job. >> i think so. the e-mail chain i was on from bankers were kind of making fun of them but others were saying give him a call. >> what do you think the chances are it's fake? >> 20%. >> how did we find out about it? >> someone from an investment bank forwarded it to somebody else who works here but eight all over the place. >> there will be so much more on
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this in the near future i'm sure. >> speaking of hoaxes. >> speaking of hoaxes an inspirational story about a college football player's girlfriend who died tragically of leukemia, apparently that's a hoax but how much did manti te'o know? the journalist who broke the story says it's not all adding up and we concur. he'll talk with us just ahead. i have low testosterone. there, i said it.
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it's a story that defined notre dame's football season a star linebacker, manti te'o losing his grandmother and then his girlfriend within 24 hours of each other and despite the pain he went on to lead the team to the bcs championship game. turns out the girlfriend never existed. >> this was a very elaborate, very sophisticated hoax perpetrated for reasons we can't fully understand but had a
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certain cruelty at its core based on the exchanges that we were able to see between some of the people who perpetrated it. >> timothy burke is the assignment editor at deadspin.com and he broke the story. nice to have you with us. that was the athletic director talking about how they stand behind manti te'o, they believe he is telling them the truth, that this was a cruel hoax. do you think that, i mean to me the $64,000 question is, it's certainly a hoax. who was involved? do you think manti te'o is involved? >> i'm not really in a position to say whether i think he's involved, except to sort of look at the story that he's telling, and especially that his claim that he did not know that it was a fake account until late december, which means that for more than a year, he claims that an individual who we at "dead
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spin" have associated with te'o as somebody who he knows was pretending to be this person all the while, while presumably a presumably intelligent man like manti te'o never caught on. i really struggle to believe that he could have been suckered for that long. >> so let's talk pro and con on this. people show catfish, it is all about that and in fact the athletic director from notre dame mentioned that in his comments yesterday. i think we can play that for you, he talked about the show exactly about that, people tricked by online relationships. let's play that. >> i would refer all of you, if you're not already familiar with it, with both the documentary called catfish. it is a scam, probably revealing my television watching habits but covered by "dr. phil" extensively recently, that follows the exact arc of this.
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>> so what makes you think or lay out for me the evidence that would make you think that, in fact, there is some connection, that manti te'o may be involved? lay out what you've seen in evidence. >> well, first i have to sort of take issue with the assertion that the movie "catfish" was a documentary. there's a great deal of controversy and skepticism that that movie was entirely factual and not set up. so let's just sort of lay that out there, that there's a debate about that film's authenticity, but second, ask yourself why and what incentive a person would have to execute such a lengthy, time-consuming and expensive con that would involve multiple people and essentially consume his entire life just to screw around with a guy that he knows?
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>> okay but why, could you ask on the other side, why would he do it? give me the rationale potentially. there are some people said you have a young man who stands to earn a lot of money, maybe that could be a motive that was raised in the press conference last night. on the other side the question of why also goes for manti te'o. why would he have to pretend to have a girlfriend? he is a star football player. he could just go find a real live girlfriend and pretend he's in love with her if he wanted to pretend. >> absolutely, and i think the question would really be why would manti te'o, knowing that this person wasn't real, continue to talk about her as if she were a real person, after she "died." when we ask, you know, if he was a complete, if he was the patsy in this, where is the incentive for the person who coned him, and we can't find any but we can find at least a sliver of a possible incentive for manti te'o because we know every story
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written about him this college football season after his girlfriend died mentioned his inspiring story about coming back through and perseverance through personal loss and tragedy. it became a major narrative in the college football season this year and propelled him to being a heisman finalist. i'm not saying anything that i think that manti knew all along. there was incentive for that to be part of his personal story. >> tim, this is will cain. how did this story get to you? how did you first gain your suspicions? >> we got an e-mail last week at deadspin.com that said, "hey, there's something real weird about lenay kekua, manti's dead grirl friend and you should check it out. we get a lot of e-mails like that but my colleague, jack
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dickey and i decided to check it out. we start googling the name. we can't find any evidence of this person that isn't attached to the story about her being te'o's girlfriend. >> does it give you any pause or how surprised to you after a two-hour conversation and supposedly a big investigation, notre dame stands by mantei manti te'o. >> that's what notre dame does. it would not be accepted by their community, by their boosters for them to throw him under the bus. they're going to stick by him. if i had been offering advice to notre dame or manti te'o yesterday i would have told them don't even respond to it. don't keep the news cycle going with stories about manti te'o's fake girlfriend, just ignore it,
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because anything they say is going to be more evidence to be used against them to find more times when manti or his brother were being deceptive. either manti or his father were lying about how he met her in the first place and the more they try to explain it, the more they can be caught. >> john berman here, big fan of "dead spin" and congratulations on the story. lot of what you say focuses on the friend of manti te'o, toutoui touis iasasopo. >> he's a curious individual, a former star quarterback in high school who was supposedly offered scholarships to play in college and never did, and kind of fell off the face of the earth for a while. we talked to his friends. we talked to his relatives. they told us he has been doing the lenay kekua upline for years
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but other people caught on way earlier than manti te'o did. the longest he ever got away with pretending to have an online relationship with somebody was about a month so you sort of question especially when you consider that he knew manti te'o, that they spent time together, that there are pictures of them together supposedly on his instagram account, how dense would manti te'o have to be to not realize this was his friend who was behind the account the entire time? i don't believe that manti te'o could be that dumb. >> i am so looking forward to what he has to say. they say within a couple of days he'll have some press conference more than the statement that we have seen where he says he's a victim of a hoax. it's fascinating, the report on your story on deadspin.com is
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riveting, unbelievable. timothy burke nice to have you with us, we appreciate it. >> no problem, thank you. other stories believe it or not, this morning to talk about, john's got that. >> there is a tense hostage standoff involving americans happening in algeria right now. islamic militants attacked a gas facility near the border with libya. they ambushed dozens of foreign employees traveling to the local airport. at least two people were killed and a number of hostages including americans were captured. algerian media reports say there was an escape but we do not yet know who tried to escape or how many. cnn's barbara starr is live at the pentagon. barbara, what is the strategy right now for the u.s. dealing with this hostage situation? >> right now our sources are telling us the u.s. and the other allies that have hostages there are relying on algerian forces. short time ago a bit of a slight update, defense secretary leanne
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pa net ta told abc news new details about this, he said the hostage takers have rocket-propelled grenades. the situation remains chaotic. the u.s. would take proper and necessary steps to deal with this but the bottom line, john, now, day two, information still very sketchy, but the u.s., the other allies are relying on algerian security forces to deal with this, it's a remote location, tough to get to, very complex, a lot of people involved and it would be tough for the u.s. to take any action, not to say that u.s. troops aren't on some kind of alert to be ready to go if ordered. >> you say tough to get to, the troops on alert. if there is military action what might that look like? >> we know there is a small unit of u.s. special forces particularly dedicated to africa and to north africa. they came into being as a unit after the benghazi attack in
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libya when the u.s. didn't have the firepower to get there quickly. as of yesterday that small unit has been put on a short string essentially if ordered, to be ready to go in less than four hours, but whether they are called into action would depend on a very critical issue, the algerian government would have to ask for help, this is solvent territory of algeria and president obama would have to order them into action. >> a tense situation as we said developing by the minute. barbara starr of the pent gone thanks very much. an american soldier accused of murdering 16 afghan civilians, nine of them children is said to be arraigned today. staff sergeant robert bales will plead not guilty. he could face the death penalty if convicted. with flu jitters running high right now, a study confirms it is safe for pregnant women to get a flu shot. this is the largest study on the
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safety and value of flu vaccinations during prel gnancy. some drugs and vaccines can be harmful to a fetus. still ahead on "starting point" we continue to cover the manti te'o girlfriend hoax mystery. should the media have dug deeper into the story? howie kurtz and lauren ashburn will join us in a moment.
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a quick look at top stories. the obama administration's push to expand gun control measures, the vice president delivers a high profile address to the u.s. conference of mayors, nearly 300 mayors are expected to attend. firefighters trying to save people from a fire in russia, that was a chunk of snow that fell from the roof, he is up on a ladder four stories high, a fellow firefighter managed to hang on and help his colleague and amazingly able to save a small charge. "american idol" is back for
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season 12. mariah carey and nicki minaj had something to do. >> if she calls me something that begins with a "b" and adds about an itch -- what is going on with you miss minaj? >> nothing. >> hundreds auditioned for the judges but so far i'm told there have been no major standouts. >> i'm going to steal that, just say to someone, i rebuke that. i don't even know what it means but it's awesome. i want to say that. ahead on "starting point," we're going to talk about the media's point in this manti te'o's story. should there have been more vetting into the girlfriend, considering we know now she didn't exist? coming up next. to be the world's best sport sedan... ♪
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welcome back, everybody. we've been talking over the last couple of hours about this mystery involving notre dame's manti te'o and his "girlfriend." turns out she never existed. was he the victim or the perpetrator of an elaborate hoax? what was his involvement? the university is standing by
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its star player, joining us now, howie kurtz the host of "reliable sources" and lauren ashburn, contributor for the daily best, editor-in-chief of "the daily download." nice to have with you us. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> lots to talk about. do you have a gut on this? >> he's, yeah, he had to have known. it seems like that to me, because there are so many inconsistencies. if there weren't, how did he not figure it out? >> there are stories we know of people who have been defrauded by people online and there is a lot about "catfish" but that specific thing has a lot of questions about it. other stories people taken for a ride by someone they never met, only had a relationship online. >> i was willing to believe that for the first ten minutes it's an online relationship because people spend so much time establishing an internet connections until i read he talked to her on the phone before he went to sleep at night so now the level of hoax would have to be so elaborate it strains credulity.
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>> what about the journalism here? i'm glad you're here because there were stories written about their relationship in very, you know, prominent papers and magazines. >> news organizations. >> what do you do if a guy tells you he had a girlfriend who died as a journalist what do you do? >> i don't have a problem with them not going after the girlfriend, you haven't seen her picture, and you're relying on the father to talk about it, relying on the brother. you feel like the family is behind it, okay, she exists. my problem exists when news organizations are reporting different facts and news organizations continue to report those facts that are incongruous. i don't understand why we don't go back and check reporting. >> because the family doesn't want to talk about the tragedy, because it's his girlfriend, it's not an investigation into some fraud and crime. those are the reasons those questions aren't asked. >> my point is that there were different pieces of information, when did she die, give me an
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example when did she die, this time, did she die at that time, on this date. >> a tough piece about a guy who is the star lineman. they're not doing an investigation whether or not he was a part of enron. >> to some extent journalism runs on trust. as cbs was doing it and "sports illustrated" and espn and the others. it if you look back if would have taken one phone call to discover there was never any death notice, no record of her birth, she didn't go to sta stanford. deadspin did a great job. >> the university is standing behind him and what the cost to them? >> the university's role is pathetic. >> they knew. >> notre dame officials say they found out december 26th that this was a hoax, they allowed other news organizations to go forward without saying a word and to perpetuate this myth, this piece of fiction as if it was a real story. it's scornful. >> i heard a reporter on another network say i called notre dame
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before the bcs game, i said, give me your reaction, and they never returned his phone calls. the other thing i want to raise -- >> coverup is what it was. >> -- the role of social media reporting in the deadspin article is fascinating. what they did was they said lennay kekua's twitter name was "x" from 2012, and all of the pieces come together. as reporters start to learn more about social media, that the opportunity for doing real reporting on twitter via facebook accounts and twitter accounts exists. >> it is te'o's story to tell. they didn't just say we're not going to comment. they said we believe what he has presented to us, very emotional, "we believe him to be a trustworthy, guy, a kind, nice guy." i think they're positioning
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themselves for we were duped, too. >> notre dame officials are never going be able to adequately explain why they allowed the organization to do something they clearly knew were false. we have a reputation to protect, if there is the possibility that te'o was in on it, notre dame doesn't want to get the black eye. >> soledad's point this was puff piece all along. it didn't ever solicit deep investigation has some merit but you both make -- >> thanks, will. >> that was a gratuitous. >> not completely but carry on. and could you take that knife out of my back, please. >> i got it, i got it. >> appreciate it. >> you both make interesting points about social media and the trusting nature of journalism in general. is there a larger indictment of journalism? >> because is this a puff piece? okay it's a puff piece, it's not enron, it's still journalism. you still have to get the facts right. >> i think media organizations wanted this story to be true because it was so touching and
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poignant and he played in the game. and you didn't have to -- >> it's a great story. >> one that's indictable on a larger level. >> even a site research would have shown there was no lennay. >> it will be a great book, this guy will have a great book whether he's lying or telling the truth or something in between. >> i have not seen him quoted where he talks about meeting her. the conversation about looking in the eyes are paraphrased by newspapers. they don't quote him directly as saying "i looked into her eyes and knew that i had met my partner for life." someone else is writing that story and to some degree i'm trying to figure out how much of it was captured by sort of other snippets. he could have, if he's lying he could have said yeah, she's 5'10", you know, her hair's down about this long, she's lovely, she told me the other day when we were out having lunch, blah, blah, blah. you have no quotes of him ever saying that. >> why didn't he say, this is not true, i never met her.
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i never was staring into her eyes. >> that was his job. >> if someone said something about me that wasn't true. >> that was wonderful and leading up to you potentially winning a major award, no, you wouldn't. well it's not true, but mmm, i might win a heisman so shh. >> i don't think i would. maybe some would. >> this is a fascinating conversation. we appreciate about you guys talking about it. we have to take a break.
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